Mindboggling Cyber Attacks that have rocked the corporate world.
No matter how big or small, no one is spared when it comes to cyberattacks, below are some of the biggest cyberattacks that have taken place in recent times:
Operation Aurora (Google) - Can you imagine a giant like Google wasn’t spared of a cyber attack? The intention of the attack was to steal intellectual property from Google, infact, 30 other companies were targeted in this malware attack. The attack reportedly was traced to two Chinese schools that partnered with Baidu’s, one of Google’s main competitors in China. However, once investigations concluded Google revealed that the attack wasn’t successful. The aurora attacks were a turning point for Google’s future in China, forcing Google to review its operations in China. Google soon announced that it was shutting down in China and that the attacks were the main cause.
Stuxnet - Stuxnet grabbed the world headlines when it actually took place, it marked the entry of a new type of war called the cyberwar. The computer worm jointly developed by the US and Israeli intelligence services was an attempt to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The worm successfully stole data, gathered information, and also caused physical damages. The attack was successful and destroyed equipment in several locations.
Playstation Network - Are you in awe of the latest virtual reality feature in the Playstation 5? Did you know that the company that makes one of the best gaming devices was also once a target? It was the year 2011 when Sony confirmed that a hacker stole details of 77 million Playstation users. This included personal information and financial information as well. The attack remained one of the biggest cyberattacks at that time and almost proved catastrophic to Sony. Not only were there lawsuits from Playstation users but also losses that mounted up to $182 million due to that outage the attack caused. The attack stands out to this date as it clearly shows the consequences a company has to face if it does not invest in proper security.
Shamoon (Saudi Aramco)- Saudi Aramco is responsible for supplying 10% of the world’s demand for oil. Somewhere in 2012, amidst the holy month of Ramadan a computer technician opened an email and clicked on the malicious link letting them hackers into Saudi Aramco’s internal systems. As many as 35,000 workstations across Saudi Aramco’s offices were down, restoration took a whole week. Shamoon was designed to erase and overwrite hard drive data with a corrupted image and report the addresses of infected computers back to the computer inside the company's network. The company had to go offline and resorted to manual typewriters and fax machines. Five months later, Saudi Aramco brought its system back online and enhanced its cybersecurity awareness.
Wannacry Ransomware Attack - WannaCry was developed by North Korean hackers looking to infect companies and extort ransom payments as part of an operation to raise funds for the sanctioned Pyongyang regime. Developed in 2017, Wannacry targeted the Microsoft Windows operating by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in bitcoin. The attack was thwarted shortly after Microsoft released emergency patches and the discovery of a kill switch that prevented the ransomware from spreading further. The attack affected more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries.
Bangladesh Bank cyber heist - The Bangladesh bank cyber heist was a digital theft that took place in February 2016. Hackers attempted to steal $1 billion but due to a typo were only able to get away with $81 million. The hackers managed to compromise Bangladesh bank’s internal servers, observe how transfers are done and gain access to the bank’s credentials for payments. The aftermath of this cyber attack highlighted the loopholes across various private and government institutions around the world. SWIFT has advised banks using the SWIFT Alliance Access system to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and ensure they are following SWIFT security guidelines.
Yahoo attacks - The Yahoo cyber attacks have been the biggest data breach so far. Yahoo announced the first details of the attack in 2016, claiming that around 1 billion accounts were compromised and were a part of the breach. Later in December 2017, Yahoo stated that all of its 3 billion accounts were affected. names, email addresses, telephone numbers, encrypted or unencrypted security questions, and answers, dates of birth, and hashed passwords were all part of the breach. Yahoo! Was criticized for its late announcement of the breaches and faced several lawsuits. Yahoo! Was then later acquired by Verizon for $4.8 billion and has since then brought about great reforms in its cybersecurity policies.